In the Asian Reading Room, readers can access more than 20,000 titles of Japanese-language newspapers, journals, and other periodicals. Many of these titles are older and no longer in print, but more than 8,000 are current publications.
Please note that English-language newspapers and recent issues of English-language periodicals published in Japan are available through the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room. In principle, English-language periodicals from Japan that have been hard bound are available through the Main Reading Room.
Remember that the "Item Availability" section at the bottom of a catalog record in the Library of Congress Online Catalog will indicate where materials are accessible at the Library. You can also use this section to learn what issues of a newspaper or serial publication are available at the Library, as in the example below. It is important to check this section carefully because some titles may have only one or two issues in the collection, while others might have full runs that span years or even decades. If you encounter a title that does not display a listing of available issues, please contact Japanese reference staff through Ask a Librarian to confirm holdings.
The Japanese collection holds more than 100 Japanese-language newspaper titles in various formats, including microfilm, reduced-print, and reprint editions. Users can also access several contemporary and historical newspaper databases, which are available for onsite use only. For a list of these titles, please see the section of this guide titled "E-Resources by Type".
In addition to the major national dailies, the collection includes regional newspapers, industry and special-interest publications, as well as Japanese-language newspapers published in former colonial and occupied territories or by Japanese immigrant and expatriate communities. Because some newspapers on microfilm are stored offsite, it is recommended that users contact Asian Division staff through Ask a Librarian at least 3 days in advance to ensure timely delivery of the materials.
The collection's periodicals, or serial publications, date as far back as the late 19th century and are diverse in format and content, ranging from annual government publications and academic journals to popular and special-interest magazines. There are an estimated 119,000 physical items. Because this count includes bound volumes that may contain multiple issues of a particular title, the total number of issues held significantly exceeds this figure. The collection is particular strong in the areas of government publications and pre-1946 journals and magazines, including many titles that ceased publication prior to the end of World War II.
One unique subset of these periodicals are several groupings of serial publications that underwent censor review at the Home Ministry (Naimushō 内務省). The checklist described below, Censored Japanese Serials of the Pre-1946 Period: A Checklist of the Microfilm Collection, provides a full listing of these censored publications, which were microfilmed between 1960 and 1990.
Most of the titles included in the [Senryōki no chikuji kankōbutsu] microfilm collection have not yet been catalogued. For a complete checklist of these publications and further information on their provenance, please refer to volume three of the reference work below.
Participants in the Library's Junior Fellows Program have contributed to improving the accessibility and discoverability of the collection's historical periodicals. The following blog posts describe their work and highlight some of these interesting materials.